Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Power of Yes

Despite my disappointment a week ago with the Blue Chip Casino representative who found a sure-fire way to forfeit hundreds of dollars in revenue in order to save two, I found myself visiting William B's Steakhouse again on Friday.

You see, William B's is a tough place to feel compelled to boycott in order to get through to the occasionally short-sighted accounting types of a business. From the fabulous food, brilliant bartenders, and super servers all the way up to Patrick Cullars, the general manager, there's plenty to miss.

Although the dining area is high class and rather "chill", we really love eating at the bar, which is located just off the casino lobby in such a way that one feels they're at a busy crossroads of "it takes all kinds" incarnate. It's a great place to people watch, and those drawn into the bar and dining area itself tend to be interesting and receptive to striking up a conversation.

We each had the perch specials. Mine was pan-seared, while my partner's was sautéed. Both were spectacular, with delicious accompaniments of fingerling potatoes and green beans. Looks like I'll have to start my diet all over again, because it was a feast, especially on top of the great bread basket that begins one's dining experience.

Patrick's philosophy is "the answer is *yes*", and it's from that seed of enablement that all the rest of what makes William B's so special flows. If you've yet to experience the complete dining and drink experience of William B's, make it a priority. But be aware that you'll likely wind up with an addiction for which there is no 1-800 number: an addiction for the finest dining and drink experience smart money can buy. While you might enjoy the thrill of risky behavior on the casino floor, William B's isn't a gamble - it's a certain, satisfying jackpot every pull.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Planet Olive Garden of Eatin'

Michigan City, Indiana is blessed with an impressive array of fine local dining options. I often wonder how restaurant chains make it here at all, really, given how incredible the local restaurants are. But tonight we went to Olive Garden on a whim, and wound up going to infinity and beyond satisfied.

Basically, it's like this: we experienced perfect alignment of planets that consisted of our server, Sara S., the never ending pasta bowl, and the wine.

Was it the best pasta or wine we've ever had? Probably not. But we weren't expecting the very best. We were admittedly expecting chain restaurant food. But the cuisine rocketed beyond the escape velocity of our expectations.

The never ending pasta bowl comes with soup or salad, and we both opted for salad, knowing that the Olive Garden salad is a classic in its own right.

The irresistible bread sticks haunted me from the get go, though I won the battle this time, knowing I'd have my digestive work cut out for me due to the words "never ending". But we most definitely brought them home for less challenging eating settings - one small step for man from the freezer to the microwave, one giant leap for mankind snacking.

For our never ending selection, my partner went with the linguini with a creamy sauce that included sun-dried tomatoes and bits of bacon. I realize that bacon is often considered "cheating" because there's no way to lose with bacon. But it was tastefully present, well-balanced against the tomatoes and sauce spices.

I went with the five cheese marinara over angel hair. And, yes, I did leave this world and end up in a better one for the duration of my gesticulation. Very, very good. And that's coming from a Wisconsin boy who knows a thing or ten about cheese.

We both made it to our second bowl, but I must say it was barely, partially so we'd have something to bring home for leftovers, but mostly because the serving sizes were such that breathing would clearly be an issue on the way home. I guess I'll just have to wait a couple days to say hello to that belt notch again.

But the gravity holding all these heavenly concoctions together was our incomparable server, Sara S. I know I've had high praise for servers before. But Sara S. raised the bar to high heaven, and we'd want to return if for no other reason other than to feel the way she made us feel - like travelers who deserved the extra mile of service and value. Sara S., we hope your commanding officers are listening, because you deserve a shot at no less than the final frontier in the Olive Garden hierarchy. You really get it.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Blue Chip Casino: Pennies Wise, Hundreds of Dollars Foolish

Last night we had a hankering for hanging out at one of our favorite places, the bar at William B's Steakhouse at Blue Chip Casino (Michigan City, Indiana). The food is great, the staff stellar, and Patrick Cullars, the general manager, is a testament to his profession. We always have a good time, and have met a lot of wonderful people there.

Mary decided to see whether she was eligible for any "food comps". She was, although not much. But that's fine. Something is better than nothing, and we appreciated the gift.

We went on to order food and drinks, and had the usual blast. I decided to cover the alcohol portion of the bill, which was $33, to which I added a $7 tip. Mary would be covering the food with her food comps.

But it was taking longer than usual for the bartender to return so we could settle. Why? Because he'd called to see if the casino could make up the difference of the $2 in food that we ordered beyond the comps. And though he clearly went to bat for us, it was denied.

Are you serious, Blue Chip?

Try to understand. We ordered just two soups and a salad, because that's how modest the comps where, and that's roughly how hungry we were anyway. So it's not like we were trying to eek out more than what we could eat. We were very comfortable.

But, again, are you serious, Blue Chip? We regularly dine and drink there, and the alcohol bill is generally $30+. And everyone knows that the profit margins on alcohol are where restaurants really bring home the ka-ching. Yet there we were, somewhat embarrassed for having to reach into our pockets for another lousy two bucks to cover the food.

Well, Blue Chip, you were indeed 200 pennies wise. Congratulations! However, our warm, fuzzy feelings about enjoying ourselves at William B's evaporated in that instant, and we're probably not going to be back for a while. So while you've saved yourselves a whopping 200 pennies, you cost yourselves hundreds of dollars in the process.


Saturday, September 13, 2014

ArtSees Diner_The Mother Ship Continues to Grow!

There is nothing more thrilling to a blogger, or social networking glutton than to see the numbers climb! That is exactly what I am proud to announce to you all! While there are bloggers out there who are attaining their market share and then some in readers, I can boast that our numbers continue to rise! The past 2 months has seen substantial growth. Over 19,000 visitors for July and August. We are continuing to see that growth. Along with our ¨Mother Ship¨ increase we are also seeing substantial growth through ¨The Voice¨ of ArtSees Diner with over 340,000 listens in 17th months. Our blogging presence regionally as well as nationally. Growth is a beautiful thing and we are seeing continued growth. All areas of ArtSees Productions continue to grow! SLOW AND STEADY wins the RACE! Join us, become involved with ArtSees Productions! A very special thank you goes out to Steve Champagne, Paul Smith, Susan Block, Douglas C. Rapier, Diane Blanchette and over 200 amazing guests! You are what makes this so amazing!